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PGDip Music Production

Don't let your skills go unrecorded

Year of entry: 2019

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

Whether you are an electronic/computer-based composer or an early music specialist who wants to make the very best recordings, this course will provide you with the intellectual and practical skills to realise your goals.

Recordings and productions are the dominant way of engaging with musics of all types. This programme explores the skills and knowledge relevant to this important musical activity, as well as understanding how it affects music more broadly.

You'll study practical, theoretical and analytical aspects of the creation, perception and reception of audio productions. You'll take an interdisciplinary approach, examining how creative studio practice is informed by science and engineering (acoustics, psychoacoustics, electroacoustics, signal processing) as well as composition, performance and musicology.

The course combines a very broad view of the techniques and applications of production for audio media with the subsequent development of more tightly focused individual skills and scholarship. You'll encounter a range of possible projects, from the creation of entirely synthetic material using computer-based techniques to the successful capture of acoustic performances, as well as the restoration and reconstruction of existing audio heritage. 

Learn from the experts

Course staff have a wealth of industrial experience as well as being active researchers

Recording opportunities

From choral to orchestral, jazz and folk to improvised electronica, gospel to gamelan, almost every kind of music is performed by the Department’s many ensembles, offering a wealth of opportunities for recording projects.

Course content

You'll study a total of seven modules. Assessment will be both practical and essay based, as well as a short presentation as part of the Music Perception and Critical Listening module.

You'll cover both aesthetic and scientific approaches to music production, explore the history and context of a variety of genres and develop the practical skills needed to capture and edit musical recordings.

Modules

As part of the course, you will take the following modules:

Autumn Term

Spring Term

The Music Perception and Critical Listening module is delivered by the Department of Electronic Engineering and is shared with students on its MSc in Audio and Music Technology.

Students on that programme also have the option of attending the Production Techniques, Technologies and Aesthetics module, giving you an excellent opportunity to work with peers from different disciplines and understand different perspectives.

Summer Term

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Plan, create and critique audio artefacts that present western acoustic art music (and other music for whom those techniques are also relevant) in ways that successfully translate the sensations, ideas and contexts inherent in the music to the intended listening environment.
  • Devise, create and critique artefacts that represent the practice of pop, rock and/or electronic production techniques and incorporate both simultaneous and non-simultaneous, realtime and non-realtime processes in the studio-based construction of music.
  • Design, implement, test and describe, in both the time and frequency domains, musical audio signal creation and processing systems for use in sound recording and/or post-production contexts.
  • Understand human sensation and perception of sound, making connections to relevant aesthetic judgements, and use this to guide and reflect upon their own practice.
  • Place their practice within relevant historical and cultural contexts, differentiating between practice-norms and more experimental or innovative technique and make informed judgements about their appropriate deployment.
  • Evaluate and articulate the current state of the art in, and understanding of, audio production technology and culture by referring to relevant contemporary research.
  • Devise and manage a large-scale practice or theory-based music production-related investigation that follows established and appropriate research methodology and is based on the current state of knowledge in the relevant area(s).
The freedom to do what I wanted, mixed with amazing equipment and staff who genuinely care about your development really helped set me up on the path I'm on now.
Dan Watts (producing and performing as DanAleX), MA Music Production

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2019/20

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year)£6,440£16,240
Part-time (2 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
£3,220
year 1 fee
£8,120
year 1 fee

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

See a full list of department scholarships, awards and bursaries.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

Teaching is delivered via lectures, listening seminars (held in our renowned Rymer auditorium) and practical workshops. Lectures will usually take place in the first half of term, with the later half focussing more on practical assessment work. During the first two terms you will participate in weekly practical workshops, as well as weekly listening seminars throughout the course.

Facilities

Our department is home to the Music Research Centre, containing a large-scale neutral listening and performing space built to extremely low noise specifications (PNC15); a linked studio suite containing a dedicated performance space with configurable acoustics; and two mix down/control rooms (one with an SSL Duality console).

The Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall has a dedicated studio control room along with a suite of editing and programming rooms. You'll have access to a wide range of microphones and recording hardware/software and extensive computing facilities for practical work and research. We also have multiple sets of 5.1 monitoring and a full periphonic (ie with height) 16 loudspeaker ambisonic system for use with surround sound work.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Music on Campus West. Almost all of your teaching will take place within the department.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll largely be assessed through production portfolios, supported by commentaries where applicable, as well as essays and presentations, both to fellow students and in our collaborative, public-facing student symposium each year.

What I loved about York was that I was able to take learning into my own hands. I chose to do an international record production project, which took me on a crowdfunded album project to Colombia. While on this trip I learned what it was to truly manage and produce artists on my own project, and I discovered a new type of self-confidence in being able to produce my own truly unique vision.
Matt, MA Music Production; founder, Music Alignment

Careers and skills

This course will provide you with a versatile skill-set which will be of value for both entrepreneurs or for those seeking professional appointments, be it with a small independent production house or a broadcaster with global reach. You will graduate with a set of robust skills which will transfer to many different scenarios along with a breadth and depth of understanding of Music Production which will allow you to create meaningful and significant audio content, as well as critically analyse the work of other producers.

Career opportunities

  • Studio-based work (broadcasting and music)
  • Further study (PhD)
  • Teaching

Transferable skills

  • Time management
  • Critical analysis
  • Problem solving
  • Lateral thinking
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Research skills

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Degree

A Bachelor's degree with a 2:2 (Hons) or above in music or another relevant discipline. We will also consider unrelated first degrees provided you can demonstrate a good grasp of music theory and some practical ability in music making.

You should provide a portfolio of short extracts (no longer than 5 minutes) of your previous work in music production to support your application. You can attach an mp3 (or AAC, AAC+ etc) file along with your application on the online system, although you may be asked to provide a link to a higher resolution version prior to interview.

Please also provide a short written statement (maximum 500 words) describing the portfolio items and how they were produced.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability:

  • IELTS: 6.0, with a minimum of 6.0 in Writing and no less than 5.5 in all other components
  • PTE: 55, with a minimum of 55 in Writing and no less than 51 in all other components
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 169, with a minimum of 169 in Writing and no less than 162 in each component
  • TOEFL: 79, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 24 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Pass in all components

Applying

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Apply for this course

The course covers a range of theoretical and practical sessions, which allowed hands-on practice with a balanced analytical input. Recording opportunities are always available ranging from Classical, Jazz, and Experimental. This was really useful for increasing the sound palette and to engage in different collaborations.
Lynette, MA Music Production

 

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